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Davidson Tartan
©2022 Gazetteer for Scotland

Davidson Tartan

A popular surname, with different branches of the family most-likely having different origins. The principal branch in Strathspey were once part of the Comyns, but became Clan Da'idh when the Comyn name was proscribed after their defeat by Robert the Bruce. Clan Da'idh became associated with the Macintoshes through marriage and, later, a leading member of the Clan Chattan confederation. In modern Gaelic, MacDhaibhidh, but it was not the Gaelic form which was adopted by the clan. Descended from David, son of Donald Dhu and grandson of the 6th Macintosh Chief, the clan were regularly feuding with their neighbours which did little for their prosperity. Davidsons were said to have been among the members of Clan Chattan which took part in the Battle of the Clans at Perth in 1396. There were Davidsons in Aberdeen by this time, and the family soon spread south to Dundee and Perth. However, the Davidsons in the Borders and in Ayrshire are probably descended from a different Davids.

Robert Davidson was a Provost of Aberdeen who was killed in the Battle of Harlaw in 1411. Other notable Davidsons include palaeontologist Thomas Davidson (1817-85), Randall Thomas Davidson (1848 - 1930) who became Archbishop of Canterbury and actor Ross Davidson (1949 - 2006).

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